Monday, January 14, 2013

My Favorite Green Smoothie

Everywhere you look there are recipes for smoothies, and it really comes down to what you like. Once you get over the green color and taste them, they are actually very good. I have tried many variations and finally stumbled upon my favorite simply by chance...and with what I had on hand.

Servings: 1 large glass or 2 small glasses

1/2 c. almond milk
1/2 c. plain Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp. ground flaxseed
2 Tbsp. PB2 (I get this from Amazon)
1/2 large gala apple (or 1 small)
1 tsp. unrefined coconut oil (i.e. Nutriva)
2 Tbsp. Stevia
2 handfuls of baby spinach
Ice (large handful)

Blend in a good blender until smooth.

I drink this every morning for breakfast, and it really does keep me going. It is also a great pre-workout drink, packed with protein and full of energy enhancers!

We really cannot put junk into our bodies and expect to look and feel good! Our bodies are machines that need premium fuel for maximum performance! 

Little Pot of Gold

As I near the big 4-0 (ok, so I have a few years...but it is a little too close for my comfort nonetheless), I think more and more about the aging process and what I can do to, at the very least, slow it down. After giving birth to three children, my body has done some crazy hormonal changes that have left me dealing with issues I had never seen before and frustrated that I should be dealing with said issues in my 30's! Breakouts, dry brittle nails, hair loss and name it. So I looked at my overall diet and realized that I had become lazy since I became a mom. Ok, maybe "lazy" is not the best word to describe being a mother. We "DO" plenty, and somehow that had become my excuse. Still an overall healthy eater, relatively speaking, I had let some of my more extensive practices go and had stopped researching new studies and products.

After talking to a fellow mom and friend, I decided to start back slowly and begin with her personal favorite, coconut oil. While the numerous benefits of this little pot of gold may be old news to many of you, it was like finding the Holy Grail for me. I began by putting it on my hands and feet, places that have forever been problem spots for me. The winters make them dry and cracked, while the summer flip flop season has all but destroyed my heels. Within days, I was seeing a difference, and the smell was good enough to eat!

Once I saw this, I decided to take the plunge and use it as a moisturizer on my face. Having had sensitive skin for my entire adult life, I was nervous. Every moisturizer I have ever tried has sent my face into a patchy mess. However, after a week, I was sold. My skin has never been clearer, smoother, more radiant...and the list goes on. The only downside is that my puppy wants to lick my face every time I put it on! (and so does my hubby! ;)

As for the health benefits, I use the extra virgin unrefined (i.e. Nutiva) coconut oil for skin, hair (haven't tried that yet, but want to!) smoothies, and baking or other dishes with a coconut flavor. For other dishes, I use the refined coconut oil (i.e. Spectrum). Even for the health rookie, this is an EASY change to make. I buy mine off of Amazon (2 15oz jars for $17.58); and a little goes a long way, so they will last you awhile. I wish I could adequately describe how much better I feel with just this simple change. It just may give me the boost I need to keep on going and do more!!

Please let me know if you try it or have tried it before as well as any tips you may have. I am constantly looking for more ways to use this amazing oil!

The Learning Curve...

Even with the best intentions, I find myself finally making a post...more than a year after my last. Maybe I should stop promising to do better? Or maybe I should just buckle down and make time for something I love. Part of my New Year's resolutions included time for myself, for the things that make me happier and a better person, wife, mom, woman. The people in this picture are reason enough to do that.

The past couple of years...ok, maybe more like three-four years...have been a journey of sorts. Finding out more about myself, deciding what I believe in, what I stand for in life. So much of my life has been dictated to me, decisions made for me. Now, that is not to say that I am not responsible for those decisions or the results of those decisions. I simply came to a point where I knew that I was simply doing what others wanted me to do and that I would never be truly happy or find the spiritual growth I needed unless I found those things for myself.

While this is no excuse, these ups and downs/twists and turns have simply held my focus leaving little room for much else. With that being said, I truly feel that life is now back on track; and I am ready to embark on the next stage of my journey - implementing all that I have learned into my daily life. Please pray for me as I do this, that I will have strength, that I will be able to make time for this journal of growth, and that I will continue to learn and grow physically and spiritually each and every day.  

Keeping Up With Xander

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Cade's Chronicles

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The Days of Hayes

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